Everyone has a story about something or someone.
My story of Mrs. Butterfield started for me on a road trip across the United States. It is true there is nothing bigger than a Kansas sky. While the fields were straight as far as the eye could see, the sky, blue as blue can be and dotted with white cotton ball clouds, was even bigger, and it held my attention a great deal of the trip through Kansas. But, upon entering Kansas, we stopped at the welcome center, and while there, I picked up a little yellow brochure about buffalo meat, and a farm that produced it. Later that fall, I contacted the farm, spoke to a Mrs. Butterfield, and chose a quarter of buffalo. I chose a variety of cuts, let’s experiment! It arrived perfectly packaged, in dry ice.
Later, picking through my purchases, I discovered a package called “Buffalo Fries.” Hm. What is this? I took it out, thawed it, unwrapped it. Two shiny, white, egg shaped things. What are they? As a part of my evening meal preparation, I called Mrs. Butterfield. The dear lady was very gracious in telling me that, yes, they are TESTICLES. But, if I slice them while still slightly frozen, I could fry them, serve them, and no one would really know their exact origin. Except me. Well, we tried them, they were okay. I’m sure I could have done better by them had I served them amid onions perhaps, and some garlic, but being a simple cook, I had just fried them. If there were leftovers, they were not saved…
A few years later, I contacted Mrs. Butterfield again, but with a more modified order: steaks, roasts, and ground meat. These orders lasted us almost two years, and it was superb.
Several years passed and my life changed. I moved to upstate New York. I thought often of Mrs. Butterfield, and her wonderful buffalo meat and called her. The years, however, had changed things, her husband’s health had broken and they were no longer in the buffalo business. But it was lovely to speak to her again, and she DID remember me, which I thought was so amazing. I have always pictured her as a small, gray haired woman with a bun, wire framed glasses and sporting an apron. But she could have been tall, with short hair, in jeans and a plaid shirt as well.
Two years later I had a trip planned to Kansas, dropping off a dog and a car for my dear daughter, who moved to Kansas to change her life. I tried to call Kaye, but there was no answer.
I do not know whatever became of Mrs. Butterfield, or if she is still around. I do miss speaking to her, but I have wonderful memories of our conversations, and I think of her from time to time.
Thanks for the memories, Kaye Butterfield!